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Why the US is experiencing a coronavirus plateau

first_imgWhen epidemiologists talked about “flattening the curve,” they probably didn’t mean it this way: the US hit its peak coronavirus caseload in April, but since that time the graph has been on a seemingly unending plateau.That’s unlike several other hard-hit countries which have successfully pushed down their numbers of new cases, including Spain and Italy, which now have bell-shaped curves.Experts say the prolonged nature of the US epidemic is the result of the cumulative impact of regional outbreaks, as the virus that started out primarily on the coasts and in major cities moves inward. Layered on top of that are the effects of lifting lockdowns in parts of the country that are experiencing rising cases, as well as a lapse in compliance with social distancing guidelines because of economic hardship, and in some cases a belief that the threat is overstated.”The US is a large country both in geography and population, and the virus is at very different stages in different parts of the country,” Tom Frieden, a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told AFP.The US saw more than 35,000 new cases for several days in April. While that figure has declined, it has still been exceeding 20,000 regularly in recent days.By contrast, Italy was regularly hitting more than 5,000 cases per day in March but is currently experiencing figures in the low hundreds. Topics : “We did not act quickly and robustly enough to stop the virus spreading initially, and data indicate that it travelled from initial hotspots along major transport routes into other urban and rural areas,” added Frieden, now CEO of the non-profit Resolve to Save Lives. To wit: the East Coast states of New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts accounted for about 50 percent of all cases until about a month or so ago — but now the geographic footprint of the US epidemic has shifted to the Midwest and southeast, including Florida.center_img Still not enough testing Another key problem, said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at Johns Hopkins, is that the United States is still not doing enough testing, contact tracing and isolation.After coming late to the testing party — for reasons ranging from technical issues to regulatory hurdles — the US has now conducted more COVID-19 tests than any other country.It even has one of the highest per capita rates per country of 62 per 1,000 people, according to the website ourworldindata.org — better than Germany (52 per 1,000) and South Korea (20 per 1,000).But according to Nuzzo, these numbers are misleading, because “the amount of testing that a country should do should be scaled to the size of its epidemic.”The United States has the largest epidemic in the world so obviously we need to do a lot more testing than any other country.”For Johns Hopkins, the more important metric is the positivity rate — that is, out of all tests conducted, how many came back positive for COVID-19.As of June 7, the United States had an average daily positivity rate of 14 percent, well above the World Health Organization guideline of 5 percent over two weeks before social distancing guidelines should be relaxed.By contrast, Germany, which has tested far fewer people in relation to its population, has a positivity rate of 5 percent. Social behavior Even if testing were scaled up, carrying out tests in of itself does very little good without the next steps — finding out who was exposed and then asking them to isolateHere also, too many US states are lagging woefully behind. Texas, which is experiencing a surge in cases after relaxing its lockdown, is a case in point. The state targeted hiring a modest 4,000 tracers by June, but according to local reports is still more than a thousand shy of even that goal.Opt-in app based efforts have also been slow to get off the ground.Then there is the fact that some people are growing tired of lockdowns, while others don’t have the economic luxury of being able to stay home for prolonged periods.The government sent some 160 million Americans a single stimulus check of up to $1,200 back in April but it’s not clear whether more will be forthcoming.Still others, particularly in so-called red states under Republican leadership, have chafed under restrictions and mask-wearing guidelines that they see as an affront to their personal freedom.”The US is kind of on the extreme of the individual liberty side,” Sten Vermund, dean of the Yale School of Public Health, told AFP.Part of this has to do with mixed messaging from Republican leaders, including President Donald Trump, said Nuzzo.”We have had at the highest political level an assertion that this is a situation that’s been overblown, and that maybe certain protective behaviors are not necessary,” she said.More recently, tens of thousands of people across the country have taken to the streets to protest the killing on an unarmed black man by police, risking coronavirus infection to demonstrate against the public health threat of racialized state violence.last_img read more

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Japan’s economy to shrink 4.7% in 2020/21: Central bank

first_img“Overall, there is no doubt that the economy is bottoming out and is on a recovery phase,” Kuroda said.”But after this, the speed [of recovery] will slow and I expect that we will see a gradual recovery.”Officials also see Japan’s core consumer prices falling 0.5 percent for the year to March, well below the government’s target of stable 2.0 percent inflation to foster sustainable growth.The central bank said it would maintain its massive monetary easing program, leaving short-term rates at minus 0.1 percent while keeping long-term rates around zero percent.”We will take additional easing measures with no hesitation if necessary,” Kuroda pledged. “Japan’s economy is likely to improve gradually from the second half of this year with economic activity resuming, but the pace is expected to be only moderate while the impact of the novel coronavirus remains worldwide,” the BoJ said in a statement.The bank said it expected the global economy to recover steadily, projecting Japanese GDP would expand 3.3 percent in the year to March 2022, before logging 1.5 percent growth in the following fiscal year.But it also stressed that “the outlook… is extremely unclear” with its assumptions involving “high uncertainties”.Capital investment is relatively solid, but consumption remains low particularly in the services sector that requires face-to-face interactions, BoJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda told reporters. Topics :center_img Japan’s economy will contract 4.7 percent in the year to March 2021, the central bank said Wednesday, projecting a recovery the following year but warning that deep uncertainty remains.The fresh outlook, with policymakers giving a range of contraction from 5.7 to 4.5 percent, is a downgrade from an April range of between 5.0 percent and 3.0 percent.The Bank of Japan was hopeful of a future recovery but said the outlook was shrouded by possible future waves of the virus, which made calculations difficult.last_img read more

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Facebook Shops launches in Indonesia amid COVID-19 shock to MSMEs

first_imgFacebook launched on Tuesday for Indonesian users its e-commerce feature, Facebook Shops, which integrates business accounts across all platforms of the social media giant while offering data analytics for online shop owners.Facebook Indonesia country director Peter Lydian told reporters at virtual press conference on Sept. 1 that the new feature was now available to Instagram business accounts and Facebook users in the country.Peter said that Indonesia was one of five countries in the world with the highest number of Instagram business accounts, which meant that Facebook Shops would be an impactful feature for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). “We have developed our platform to become a catalyst for MSME development. Through Facebook Shops, we can provide market access and connect businesses with communities,” he said.MSMEs, which contribute more than 50 percent to Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP), have been particularly hard hit by the economic fallout from the pandemic.According to a recent survey by the University of Indonesia business school’s Demography Institute (LD-FEUI), 77 percent of social sellers –  people who create and pursue sales leads using social media – expected current revenue pressures to continue for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.Indonesia’s GDP contracted 5.32 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data. Meanwhile, the government’s best-case scenario projects 1 percent growth this year, or to shrink to 0.4 percent in its worst-case scenario. The new digital storefront feature integrates a business’ Instagram account with its Facebook account to allow it to expand customer reach. The feature also comes with the Facebook Commerce Manager tool that allows shop owners to customize and manage their digital storefronts.Peter said shop owners could also gather aggregate data on their customers through Facebook Shops, such as customer demographics including location and age, that could help businesses expand and develop.The data also provided information on “what [kinds of] posts people like and when [customers] typically go online”, he added.Peter stressed, however, that Facebook did not collect customers’ personal data for sharing with shop owners without their consent.“We don’t share personal information like names and email addresses. User activity on Facebook Shop will also not be shared with [Facebook] friends without user consent,” he said.Facebook has faced global scrutiny on digital privacy issues in recent years, including a $5 billion settlement with the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in July 2019 for a wide range of privacy violations, and the 2018 Cambridge Analytica data misappropriation scandal dating back at least three years that was uncovered in the United Kingdom.The company has vowed to provide “a comprehensive new framework for protecting people’s privacy”, according to Reuters.Topics :last_img read more

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Brisbane home has own war bunker and secret entry

first_imgThe home in Robertson presents like any other large suburban property — and has a pool that comes with its own enclosed shower.THIS Brisbane home has the facade of suburbia, but it comes with a special feature that will make any doomsday prepper happy — its own war bunker that even has a secret entry.So well was it hidden that the current owners did not even realise it was there until they accidentally stumbled upon it. The home was built in 1970 by a family that had escaped from the trauma of the Balkan Wars.They’d built a thick cement bunker into the property that could survive blasts — and a secret stairwell connected to it in case they ever needed to hide from extremists. Inside the garage was a metal floor that the current owners later discovered was removable and led to what’s now become their wine cellar.Current owners Kon and Mary Sclavos — who have put the treasured family home up for auction mid next month — bought the property in 1981, over a decade after it was built.“A Yugoslav family escaped their homeland and wanted to secure their future with building a very solid bunker under their house where the staircase was hidden,” Mrs Sclavos told The Courier-Mail.“When we purchased the house we did not know about the bunker. We realised after a couple of weeks that the metal floor moved and covered a cement staircase which led to the bunker.” By happy coincidence, the bunker turned out to be “perfect for storing wine”. “The room was always cool. Since then my husband has used it for this purpose.” The family that built the war bunker escaped from war-torn Yugoslavia.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago Boatyard’s amazing transformation Container home under the gavel QLD richlister’s $20m renovation CoreLogic records show the house at 5 Angophora Street, Robertson, was built in 1970 — which was when the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was ruled by communist revolutionary Josip Broz Tito.Real estate agent Joanna Gianniotis of Place Bulimba was amazed. “They built this war bunker into their home. It’s amazing, It is cement everywhere. Now it’s a wine cellar for the current owners.” The home is designed to provide all an extended family could possibly want, including a party spot by the bar.She said the secret staircase was in the garage of the property. “It’s got a metal top. It looked like a mechanic lived there and had a metal base under the car, and then they realised the metal base actually moved which is when they discovered the stairs (to the bunker).”center_img There is an enormous alfresco area for large family functions.The home, which is in a prime position just a few minutes walk from Sunnybank Plaza and not far from the university, has been set to go to auction at noon on September 15.“It’s a good quality home, 733 sqm block in a cul-de-sac.“There’s a master suite downstairs with an ensuite and walk in robe, and four good sized bedrooms upstairs.” There are four large bedrooms upstairs and one master bedroom downstairs — perfect for guests and grandparents.“It’s great for multi-generational families. It would suit having grandparents downstairs and other family members upstairs. It’s all about the location with this house, around the corner from Sunnybank private hospital too.”The home has a large alfresco dining area as well as a swimming pool with enclosed shower room and is in the catchment of the highly popular MacGregor State School and Sunnybank State High School. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOKlast_img read more

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All Set for Folkestone Beach Works

first_imgEssential beach management works that will protect the district’s coastline started last week in south-east England, informs the Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC).The work – which involves the recycling and regrading of shingle beaches between Fisherman’s Beach in Hythe to Folkestone Harbor – always takes place around this time of year.Following the significant impact caused by various storms in recent months, surveys have shown it to be necessary to begin and complete the task as soon as possible.Cllr John Collier, FHDC Cabinet Member for Property Management and Grounds Maintenance, said: “We clearly need to guard against any risk of suffering tidal flooding at a time where people are being urged to stay at home.”“This isn’t a case of doing work to simply make the beach look nice for the summer – it is for the benefit of our residents by providing protection to the sea wall and therefore reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion.”The enhancement of the coastline’s defenses is expected to take a number of weeks to complete.last_img read more

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Man Utd duo Ighalo, Bailly join forces to campaign against Covid-19

first_imgManchester United forward Odion Ighalo and center-back Eric Bailly have assured fans across the world the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated. The outbreak of Covid-19 has seen various European competitions suspended including the Premier League, the Champions League and Europa League. After having the weekend off due to the suspension of football leagues across England, Manchester United players were expected to resume training on Tuesday but the club was forced to cancel their resumption following government’s advice that people should stay at home.Advertisement Promoted Content10 Hyper-Realistic 3D Street Art By OdeithWhich Celebrity Endorsement Deals Were Worth The Most?Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For Them10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoA Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DayUse Your Zodiac Signs To Find A Perfect Job2020 Tattoo Trends: Here’s What You’ll See This Year8 Interesting Unknown Facts Of Sasha Obama8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthThe Best Cars Of All TimeWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?Best & Worst Celebrity Endorsed Games Ever Made Loading… While no player or official has shown symptoms of coronavirus at Manchester United, Ighalo and Bailly urged fans on social media to stay safe and to remain indoors. Bailly and Ighalo were both impressive in Manchester United’s last outing in the Europa League before the suspension of their games. Read Also:Odion Ighalo: Solskjaer reveals how Nigerian has improved Man United attack Ighalo scored a goal and provided an assist in the fixture against LASK while Bailly ensured the Red Devils kept a clean sheet with a solid defensive display in their 5-0 win in Austria. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 last_img read more

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I-74 Bridge Repairs Set To Begin This Summer

first_imgIndiana Department of Transportation officials are reviewing construction plans for surface repairs to bridges at five locations along the I-74 corridor through Dearborn County.The $560,000 Seymour District Bridge project is slated to begin in July and will require single lane closures.Ram Construction Services, the state’s contractor, will make pavement repairs before applying an epoxy polymer overlay to bridge decks at:Johnson Fork and Johnson Fork Road—I-74 eastbound and westbound bridges—1 mile east of U.S. Highway 52White’s Hill Road—I-74 eastbound and westbound bridges—1 mile west of U.S. 52U.S. 52 and the Indiana & Ohio Railroad—I-74 eastbound and westbound bridges—5 miles east of S.R. 1A Dearborn County road and the East Fork of Tanners Creek—I-74 eastbound and westbound bridges—2 miles west of S.R. 46The I-74 ramp bridging over the Indiana & Ohio Railroad—5 miles east of S.R. 1Ram’s epoxy polymer overlay is applied in two lifts with a covering of flint rock chips spread across each application. Polymer seals the bridge decks from moisture intrusion, extending service life. The flint reestablishes surface friction and resists polishing to enhance driver safety for years to come.The Seymour District Bridge Project was awarded in January.last_img read more

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Foundation Awards $25K To Safe School Project

first_imgA school project launched to better ensure student safety is receiving a $25,000 Community Impact Grant.The Ripley County Community Foundation (RCCF) provided the grant opportunity for non-profit organizations within the county to work together to leverage funds and make a bigger impact on the community.The Safe School Readiness project from the Ripley County Safe Schools Commission has been awarded the grant. It provides each public school district in the county, including the Southeastern Career Center, with two emergency response packs.Each pack includes thumb drives, portable bullhorns, VHF Motorola handheld radios, weather alert radios, safety vests, and other safety materials.“The packs make the schools safer when responding school or community disasters,” RCCF Program Director Jane Diewert said. “The most important piece is that an emergency response master plan will be created to coordinate response from each school.”The Board of Directors looked for projects that would have a greater impact on the county than would normally be possible in its regular granting cycle and that demonstrate collaboration with other organizations.  Jeff Thielking, the South Ripley Schools/Career Center School Resource Officer, serves as President of the School Safety Commission.  Joining him on this committee that worked together on applying for this grant were safety representatives of each district.RCCF Executive Director Sally Morris stated, “There were many Ripley County non-profit organizations applying for the Community Impact Grant with worthy projects.  The collaboration of the schools really stood out to the committee and the fact that everyone in Ripley County could be touched by this project if a disaster or emergency arises.”Applying non-profit organizations not receiving this grant will be considered in the Foundation’s regular large grant cycle.  Applications for the large grant are due to the Foundation’s office by 4 p.m. on August 1.  Details and guidelines for this grant cycle are on RCCF’s website: www.rccfonline.org .last_img read more

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IMCA Modifieds featured Friday’s at Tri-City Motor Speedway

first_imgAUBURN, Mich. ­– Tri-City Motor Speedway will have fans on the edge of their seat on action-filled Friday nights featuring Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modifieds beginning April 22.Every Friday night of the 2016 season is packed full of entertainment through the season finale in September.
 TCMS has lined the upcoming schedule with many of the fan favorites such as Kids and Autograph Night, Figure 8 racing and the third annual Faster Pastor race. The Great Lakes Super Sprints will take to the track as will the new mini-wedge series for 6-14 year olds to gain skills on the Auburn clay.TCMS will host the popular free fireworks demo show sponsored by Wolverine Fireworks Display on Saturday, May 7. The three-part figure eight series will run on May 27, July 8 and the champion­ship on Aug. 12.Kids get to meet their favorite drivers during two autograph sessions on June 17 and Aug. 19, get to test their racing skills on July 22 with the return of the Box Car Races.Season championships wrap up the weekly points racing on Friday, Sept. 2 and the end of the season two-day finale falls .To better serve our racing families, a new youth ticket price will kick off the 2016 season. The grand­stand youth age has been extended from 13 to 15 years old and admission has been low­ered from $8 to $5.A $14 youth pit pass rate has also been added for 3-12 year olds. TCMS is giving back with the weekly hero discount taking $4 off grandstand admission for active military and veterans, police, firefighters, mobile first responders. Big Brothers Big Sisters and Royal Family Kids mentors will also receive complimentary admission when bringing their mentee to the races.Coolers are welcome with favorite snacks and drinks, just no glass containers.To get all the details for each race, visit the schedule page on our website www.tricityracetrack.com/schedule.last_img read more

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GFA/Stag Premium league 2017 Santos end Camptown’s winning streak with 2-1 win

first_img—Northern Rangers and Pele also record victoriesSANTOS Football Club ended Camptown’s winning streak on Sunday last by registering a 2-1 win against the Campbellville based team to move to second in the standings with nine points and a goal difference of plus five.William Europe who had three goals to his name going into Sunday’s engagement, opened the scoring in the 67th minute with a perfectly timed-header from inside the opposition’s 12-yard box. However, 10 minutes later, Jamal Codrington found the equaliser and with five minutes to regulation time, keith Caines sealed the issue for Santos.Camptown remains on nine points after four rounds of competition and has a goal difference of plus two after winning three consecutive matches, scoring six goals and conceding two.Santos on the other hand has won three of their four matches,They lost to lowly rated Flamingo by a 0-1 margin, but scored seven goals while conceding two.In the feature game on Sunday night, Pele recorded their first points of the competition after four matches by edging home side, Georgetown Football Club 1-0, through a Keith DaSilva 40th minute goal.The win for Pele earned them three points and they are currently ninth in the points standing.In the second game on the night’s card, Northern Rangers secured three points after edging Flamingo 1-0 to take them to five points after recording their first win on Sunday to add to their drawn 1-1 game against Beacons during the third round of competition.Earlier in the competition, Northern Rangers lost by a 0-3 margin to GFC and 1-2 to Camptown.Police is the current leaders of the league with 12 points from four victories.The lawmen registered a 4-1 win against Camptown in a round one fixture, then followed up with a 3-0 win against Flamingo and a further 3-0 victory against Black Pearl.In their last match, the men in dark blue and red uniform brushed aside Beacons by a 5-2 margin with their leading goal scorer being Rawle Haynes with five goals to his name after four matches.The League will continue on Friday with a double-header.last_img read more